National Legal News

Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[09/18] Estate of Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Affirming the grant of summary judgement to a school whose former employee was exposed to radiation as part of his position because the Price-Anderson Act, which regulates the handling of certain nuclear materials by entities holding licenses to do so, set standards for the exposure of employees to radiation and the injured party in the case had been exposed to much lower than the threshold amounts.

[09/12] Friedman v. Bloomberg, L.P.
Affirming the district court's dismissal of a defamation action as it related to out-of-state defendants because Connecticut's long-arm jurisdiction over out-of-state defendants excepting defamation actions does not violate the plaintiff's First or Fourteenth Amendment rights in a case where a media publisher reported on the plaintiff's lawsuit accusing their former Netherlands employer of a kickback operation involving Qaddafi and quoted the employer's statements about him, but reversing and remanding a decision that the plaintiff had failed to state a claim as it related to the employer's statements that he had repeatedly tried to extort money from them to determine whether the implication was indeed defamatory.

[09/11] Johnson v. Open Door Community Health Centers
Reversing the trial court's entry of summary judgment to the defendant because the court erred in its application of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act's one-year statute of limitations for professional negligence because the injury, caused by a trip over medical equipment in a hospital, was subject to the statute of limitations on premises liability claims, not professional liability claims, since the accident did not relate to a medical procedure.

[08/31] Grotheer v. Escape Adventures, Inc.
Affirming summary judgment for the defense in the case of a non-English speaking German national who suffered a broken leg when a hot air balloon in wine country crashed, though changing the grounds for the grant because the trial court found no duty of care, while the appeals court held that the company was not a common carrier subject to a heightened duty of care, the assumption of risk doctrine eliminated the negligence claim, and the company did have the duty to provide safe landing instructions but the undisputed evidence established that any failure to provide such instruction was not the cause of the injury.

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Labor & Employment Law

[09/14] Diego v. City of Los Angeles
Reversing a four million dollar damages verdict in the case of two police officers who complained that the LAPD engaged in discrimination against Hispanic officers because their claims had been based on an improper legal theory and failed to submit sufficient evidence in support of their claim of retaliation.

[09/11] United Nurses Associations of California v. National Labor Relations Board
Enforcing the order of the National Labor Relations Board's remedial order determining that an employer committed serious and widespread unfair labor practices both before and after a union election because the Board's conclusions were supported by precedent and substantial evidence and granting a nurses union's petition for review to determine an issue the Administrative Law Judge declined to address regarding whether a written policy banning employee communication with the media should be rescinded as an unfair labor practice.

[09/11] Zuber v. Boscov's
Reversing and remanding the district court's decision that a Compromise and Release Agreement during the settlement of workers' compensation claims resulted in a waiver of the right to assert claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act and Pennsylvania common law because the plain meaning of the language used in the release suggested that it was not intended to cover such claims.

[09/08] US v. Burhoe
Sustaining the conviction of union members for violations of a law prohibiting persons with certain criminal convictions from serving in certain positions within a labor organization within thirteen years after their term of imprisonment ends, but vacating convictions for extortion of a nonunion company and remanding for a new jury trial because the jury instructions allowed the jury to convict simply upon finding that work contracted for with union members was unwanted rather than the result of extortion.

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Workers' Comp

[07/28] Baker v. Workers Compensation Appeals Board
Affirming the decision of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board that the Subsequent Injuries Benefits Trust Fund benefits commence at the time the employer's obligation to pay permanent disability benefits begin.

[07/21] Chugach Management Services Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Jetnil
Denying the petition for review of the award of disability benefits under the Defense Base Act and the application of a judicially-created 'zone of special danger' doctrine to a local national injured while employed by a government contractor overseas.

[06/20] Zhu v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd.
In a case involving an in-home caretaker injured while traveling between worksites, the court annulled an earlier appeal dismissing the action and remanded for a new decision, where the facts of the case qualified for the required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule.

[05/22] Southern Ins. Co. v. WCAB
In an action involving a workers' compensation insurance policy that was issued based on the express representation that the covered employer's employees did not travel out of state, and after an employee was injured out of state, the insurer notified the employer that it was rescinding the policy because of the employer's misrepresentation and returned the premium, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board's decision affirming an arbitrator's decision that, as a matter of law, the insurer could not rescind the policy and that the policy was in effect, is annulled where: 1) contrary to the arbitrator's ruling, a workers' compensation insurance policy may be rescinded; and 2) the arbitrator and the appeals board did not address and determine whether rescission was a meritorious defense to the employee's claim.

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